Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro review: back from the dead

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro

MSRP $250.00

“The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro is a solid low-profile gaming keyboard, but it surely’s not for everybody.”


  • Low-latency wireless and Bluetooth
  • Brilliant, vibrant RGB lighting
  • Metal volume wheel and media button
  • Solid battery life


  • Expensive
  • No tactile switch option
  • Mushy typing experience

Razer is throwing its hat into the low-profile gaming keyboard ring with the DeathStalker V2 Pro. The trend began with Logitech’s G915 two years ago, and Razer is offering up an identical gaming experience with a number of critical improvements: USB-C charging, Bluetooth 5.0, and low-profile optical switches.

Although the additions are welcome, and the features are on-par with one of the best gaming keyboards you’ll be able to buy, Razer is asking the identical $250 that the G915 launched at (you’ll commonly find it for $30 to $50 less now). The DeathStalker V2 Pro is an important gaming keyboard, but it surely’s only a greater option should you can find it on sale for a similar price because the G915.


Razer DeathStalker V2 sitting on an orange background.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s strange calling the Deathstalker V2 Pro a version two of anything considering this model shares almost nothing in common with the primary version released a decade ago. That version was a chiclet-style membrane keyboard, while this one goes full mechanical. If anything, the Deathstalker V2 Pro takes inspiration almost exclusively from the Logitech G915 TKL, which was previously the foremost option for a low-profile gaming keyboard.

Low-profile mechanical keyboards use special switches which are thinner than a standard mechanical switch. Combined with thinner keycaps, they massively slim down the scale of a keyboard and supply a special gaming/typing experience.

The Deathstalker V2 Pro looks quite a bit just like the G915, but with a number of critical differences. The keyboard is simply 26.6mm thick at its thickest point and 21mm at its thinnest, and the highest is roofed in 5052 aluminum (aircraft-grade). Across the back, you’ll discover a USB-C port for charging, three buttons for various Bluetooth devices, and a canopy for the USB-A dongle.

In comparison with the G915, the large difference is the shortage of media and performance buttons. You’ll be able to still use functions like Game Mode, but there isn’t a dedicated key for them. For media buttons, Razer simplified the layout with a single, multi-purpose button next to the big metal volume wheel. It’s a good solution, but I prefer dedicated keys to avoid any mishaps with double and triple taps.

Key caps on the Razer DeathStalker V2.

Volume wheel on the Razer DeathStalker V2 keyboard.

One other big difference is available in the keycaps, which evenly shine light a lot better than the G915. Razer even made secondary icons on keys transparent, allowing you to see all the RGB glory occurring underneath. The lighting looks implausible, because it often does with Razer peripherals, and it’s a giant plus should you can synchronize your setup with Razer Chroma.


Wireless adapter for Razer DeathStalker V2 keyboard.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You’ll be able to connect the Deathstalker V2 Pro with either Bluetooth or Razer’s low-latency HyperSpeed wireless tech. Razer says it’s “25% faster than other wireless tech,” but after I pressed about what exactly that meant, I didn’t get a satisfying answer. HyperSpeed is below 1ms, which is on par with Logitech’s Lightspeed and Corsair’s Slipstream, amongst most other 2.4GHz wireless connections.

The perk of HyperSpeed is which you can connect two devices to a single dongle — say the DeathStalker V2 Pro and the Razer Orochi V2. Logitech offers multi-device support, but only on office keyboards just like the Logitech MX Mechanical, while Corsair matches what Razer is offering with some Slipstream devices it offers.

Bluetooth 5.0 is a welcome addition, allowing you to pair up to 3 devices and toggle between them using three dedicated buttons on the back of the keyboard. Bluetooth is becoming standard on most gaming keyboards, even on cheaper options just like the Akko 3068B. Razer goes a small step forward by providing you with a dedicated Bluetooth toggle on the back, in addition to three buttons to simply switch between devices.

Wireless dongle sitting inside Razer DeathStalker keyboard.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Bluetooth works with absolutely anything, and with a bit setup, you’ll be able to even use the DeathStalker V2 Pro on a Mac.

Although you’ll technically get one of the best battery life with Bluetooth, Razer says the DeathStalker V2 can last as long as 40 hours at 50% brightness on the HyperSpeed connection. You’d normally save battery life by the keyboard robotically going to sleep, but it surely’s not enabled by default on the DeathStalker V2 Pro. After establishing the keyboard and leaving it overnight, it was dead by the point I returned to it.

You’ll be able to enable automatic sleep in Razer Synapse, but it surely really ought to be enabled by default. Once I turned it on, I needed to top off the Deathstalker V2 thrice over the course of about two weeks. It charges very fast, too, with a couple of quarter of the battery life returning in under half-hour.


Switches on the Razer DeathStalker V2.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You might have two switch options on the Deathstalker V2 Pro: the linear Red switches, which can be found now, and the clicky Purple switches, which can ship near the top of the yr. It’d be fair for you to jot down them off as rebranded versions of the switches available within the G915 TKL, but Razer’s offerings have quite a bit more occurring.

The linear switches have an actuation distance of only one.2mm. It’s not the adjustable actuation all the way down to 0.2mm you’ll find on the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini, but it surely’s still plenty fast for twitch reactions. They’re a bit lighter than Logitech’s offerings, too, with a force of 45 grams versus 50 grams.

For gaming, these switches are great.

The mix makes a difference for gaming, with only a hair faster reflexes and response time. The larger deal is that Razer is using its optical switches, which it brought over from the Huntsman Mini (just in a slimmer form). Optical switches eliminate debounce delay, which may cause a tiny amount of latency with a standard mechanical switch. It’s very difficult to identify that latency on a daily switch, though, despite the fact that Razer’s switches are technically faster.

For gaming, the switches are great. My foremost issue is that Razer isn’t offering a tactile option, which knocks the typing experience down a peg. The clicky Purple switches are only available on the Deathstalker V2 Pro and wired version (not the TKL version), they usually’re not arriving until the top of the yr. Reds are the fitting selection for gamers, but it surely was the tactile bump of the G915’s switches that made me fall in love with it for gaming and typing.

Gaming and typing

Razer DeathStalker V2 sitting on an orange background.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Gaming is solid, but typing on the DeathStalker V2 Pro isn’t my favorite, and a whole lot of it comes all the way down to how the switches feel. For my heavy-handed typing, linear switches need a ways to travel before they feel right. On the DeathStalker V2 Pro, they don’t feel like they’ve enough distance, resulting in a little bit of a mushy feel.

Feel all comes all the way down to personal preference, though, and the DeathStalker V2 Pro continues to be a superb gaming keyboard. I played through Destiny 2, The Ascent, and Resident Evil 2, and I never missed a keystroke. The switches didn’t each me an excessive amount of while playing, either — I settled in almost immediately, while most keyboards require a small adjustment period.

The shortage of tactile switches makes it a much less satisfying typing experience.

The large feature missing for gamers is an 8,000Hz polling rate, which is on the market on keyboards just like the Corsair K70 RGB Pro when wired. Razer has already shown it may do 8,000Hz polling with the Huntsman V2 TKL, so I used to be surprised to see the DeathStalker V2 Pro locked to 1,000Hz. In fairness, that’s nice for the vast majority of gamers — 8,000Hz rarely makes a difference, if any — but it surely looks as if a mandatory inclusion for a keyboard Razer is asking $250 for.

Typing is where the experience changes. I like low-profile mechanical keyboards for typing, however the DeathStalker V2 Pro is clearly more focused on gaming. The shortage of tactile switches makes it a much less satisfying typing experience, but I used to be still in a position to finish this review and a number of other other articles with none slip-ups.


Chroma software for Razer DeathStalker V2 keyboard.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Razer offers Synapse for all of its peripherals, and it’s one in every of the higher utilities available today (read our Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking review for an example of a nasty utility). It’s not as feature-rich as Corsair iCue, and it’s not so simple as Logitech G Hub, but there’s a pleasant balance of functionality and customization without too many extras bogging down the experience.

In Synapse, you’re free to rebind any of the keys to macros, text inputs, mouse commands, and so far more. Mainly, if there’s an input you’ll be able to do, you’ll be able to bind it to a key. The DeathStalker V2 Pro has a full second layer of commands, too, called Hypershift. This offers you a second layer of commands which you can assign to all the functions as you’ll be able to on standard keys.

My favorite function is game mode. Razer gives you a number of options like disabling Alt + F4 and the Windows key, and people options are fairly standard. The boost is that you simply don’t need to activate game mode. You’ll be able to set it to robotically kick in if you boot right into a game, which is a big plus for a feature like this.

The lighting effects in Synapse are solid, too, providing you with a number of basic effects like spectrum cycling, respiratory, and so forth. You’ll be able to add as many layers as you would like, though, providing you with a whole lot of room for personalisation. The DeathStalker V2 Pro is fully Chrome compatible, too, so you’ll be able to sync it together with your other Razer peripherals. And, you’ll be able to store your lighting and key assignments directly on the keyboard across five profile banks.

My foremost pain point is that you’ve to at the least open Synapse to get the keyboard to robotically put itself to sleep. Through keyboard commands, you’ll be able to record macros, cycle through different lighting effects, and toggle between devices, so you’ll be able to reasonably use the DeathStalker V2 Pro without ever touching Synapse. Due to the battery life issue, though, you’ve to open the software at the least once.

Our take

The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro offers some solid quality-of-life features over the mold Logitech set with the G915, but the shortage of switch options holds it back. It’s a good option for gamers, however the typing experience wasn’t nearly as premium as I expected from a $250 keyboard.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes. The foremost alternatives are the Logitech G915 and Logitech MX Mechanical, each of which include low-profile mechanical switches. They’re cheaper, too, though the MX Mechanical is more focused on typing than gaming.

In the event you enterprise out a bit, the Keychron K3 is a low-profile mechanical keyboard for around $90, and you’ll be able to even grab it with hot-swappable optical switches. Corsair offers its K70 RGB low-profile, as well, though it’s expensive and limited to a wire.

How long will it last?

Razer says its key switches will last for 70 million keystrokes, so you must give you the option to make use of the DeathStalker V2 Pro for a decade or more depending on how much you type.

Must you buy it?

At its retail price, no. Although the DeathStalker V2 Pro is an important gaming keyboard, the Logitech G915 often sells for $30 to $50 less, and it comes with a tactile switch option.

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